Water Bears Can Survive Even In One Shot, But Not In A Lunar Accident.

2021-05-25   |   by CusiGO

Tardiggers, also known as water bears, are tiny creatures that can survive in almost everything: freezing, boiling water, decades of starvation. Even one shot. But an unexpected interplanetary journey is even greater for these tiny creatures, who are said to be able to inherit the earth even in the event of mass extinction because of their amazing resistance. A study conducted a real shooting test on some water bears: shoot them at extremely high speed and check whether they can withstand the blow.

The problem is not theoretical: two years ago, an American millionaire decided to ship thousands of tardiggers to an Israeli probe that eventually crashed into the moon. These retarders, which measure less than half a millimeter, are sent to the dehydration state and almost die, with a metabolic rate of 0.01% of the normal. After the accident, they stayed there, there was no plan to try to rescue them, and there was no observation to see if they could rehydrate and recover after the impact. It’s a small scandal, another example of biological pollution in the solar system caused by the negligence of new space players. But Madrid scientist Alejandra traven, who is writing a master’s thesis at Kent University, wants to know what will happen to them after the accident: “I think, ‘poor children, will they survive?'” she explains by phone.

In this way, he designed an experiment to photograph the cruel speed of the moon hitting these bears, who usually live in humid environments. They put a sand target in a vacuum chamber to simulate the space conditions and impact on the surface of a rocky planet. Tevenn explained that the water bear fired two or three bullets at him with a “giant gun about 3 meters long”, frozen them in the shells and induced them to hibernate. The test will start at the end of 2019 and will continue during the restriction period caused by the pandemic, except for emergency braking.

The results, published in the journal astrobiology, remind us once again of the extraordinary endurance of tardiggers, but it’s bad news for those who become lunar astronauts. When they shoot at a speed greater than that of the pistol, they are able to resist the impact and manage to recover from freezing, although slower than the control group (other hibernating bears compare their behavior with shooting bears). At a speed of one kilometer per second, the tardiggers survived. But above that threshold, small animals are disintegrating. That’s what moon travelers are like “We can confirm that they did not survive,” the Astrobiologist explained, “because the impact on the moon is not so fast, but the impact pressure, due to the material of the spacecraft, is too high for them to resist.”

Now studying for a doctorate at Queen Mary University in London, Twain will continue to learn how to solve a problem in his research. The surviving tardiggers stopped breeding for unknown reasons We’re going to repeat these experiments, but we’re going to use genetic analysis to see if it’s natural selection, stress or genetic damage, “the astrobiologist said.

In addition to the anecdotal resistance of these water bears when they hit the moon, Twain’s works have far-reaching significance in understanding the origin of life. In order to explain the emergence of life, there is a hypothesis that life exists in the universe and travels on asteroids and other celestial bodies until it encounters planets like earth. But if the impact can be so devastating for such a tiny creature, then the transmission of data proves that. ” The possibilities are complicated, but it’s not impossible. The angle of impact and other conditions must be taken into account. ” Their research calculations can imagine the transfer of microbes between the earth and the moon or between Mars and the Forbes satellite. They open a very interesting door to the search for life. This is a moon of Saturn, where people suspect that there may be creatures living in their oceans. A ship speeding through its one kilometer long geyser can collect samples without a fatal impact.

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